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Almacantar Secures £220 Million Loan From Starwood Property Trust and Starwood European Real Estate Finance for Centre Point Tower

November 01, 2013

LONDON, GREENWICH, Conn. and GUERNSEY, U.K., Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Almacantar, a London-based property investment and development company, Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: STWD) and Starwood European Real Estate Finance Limited (LSE: SWEF) today announced they have reached an agreement to refinance the existing loan at Centre Point (the "Property"), one of London's most iconic towers. As part of the agreement, further proceeds can be drawn for the comprehensive refurbishment of the Property. Located at 103 New Oxford St., the 34-story Grade II Listed Property is one of Central London's tallest structures and was originally constructed in 1966.

Under terms of the agreement, Starwood Property Trust and Starwood European Real Estate Finance will provide Almacantar with a £220 million first mortgage loan (the "Loan"). Starwood Property Trust will originate £180 million of the Loan and Starwood European Real Estate Finance will provide £40 million.

"Almacantar's strategy is to reposition large-scale, complex commercial and residential assets in Central London," said Mike Hussey, Chief Executive of Almacantar. "We are delighted to have secured the support of a single, sophisticated lender that can align a flexible loan facility with our asset plan."

In July, Almacantar secured planning consent for a comprehensive refurbishment to transform the Property into a world class mixed use scheme. The consent is for 82 residential flats consisting of a range of apartment types as well as attractive amenities including a pool, spa and fitness facilities. Double-glazed windows that stretch from floor to ceiling will line the Property's renewed façade. The adjoining building and the bridge that link to the tower have been approved to accommodate 41,780 square feet of innovative retail and restaurant space and affordable apartments centered around a proposed new public square.

"We are pleased to provide this financing facility to an institutional grade sponsor that has a unique vision and strategy in place to transform one of London's premier buildings," said Jeff Dishner, President and Senior Managing Director of Starwood Capital Group. "This loan further demonstrates our ability to source and secure compelling loan opportunities in prominent European cities."

The Property is situated on Oxford Street at the intersection of four thriving neighborhoods: Soho, Covent Garden, Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia. It sits directly above Tottenham Court Road station, which is being upgraded to accommodate Crossrail, one of the most significant infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. Upon the arrival of Crossrail in 2018, the Property will benefit from its prime location in one of Central London's major transportation hubs. Furthermore, the Property is surrounded by several large redevelopment projects that will transform the area into a highly desirable location.

About Almacantar
Almacantar is a property investment and development company specialising in large-scale, complex investments in Central London, with the potential to create long-term value through development, repositioning or active asset management. Since launching in 2010, Almacantar has acquired a number of prime assets with untapped potential in the heart of London, including: Centre Point, Marble Arch Tower, CAA House, and 125 Shaftesbury Avenue.

About Starwood Property Trust, Inc.
Starwood Property Trust, Inc. is focused on originating, investing in, financing and managing commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities ("CMBS"), and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. The Company through its 2013 acquisition of LNR Property LLC ("LNR") now also operates as special servicer in the United States and a primary and special servicer in Europe and has expanded its product offering to include fixed rate conduit loans. Starwood Property Trust, Inc. also invests in residential mortgage-backed securities ("RMBS") and residential real estate owned, and may invest in non-performing loans, commercial properties subject to net leases and residential mortgage loans. The Company is externally managed and advised by SPT Management, LLC, an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, and has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

About Starwood European Real Estate Finance
Starwood European Real Estate Finance is an investment company listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange with an investment objective to provide Shareholders with regular dividends and an attractive total return while limiting downside risk, through the origination, execution, acquisition and servicing of a diversified portfolio of real estate debt investments in the UK and Continental European markets.


SOURCE Starwood Property Trust, Inc.

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